@8Tracks – Socializing Playlists
One of the features on djsizzly.com that I really enjoy doing are the playlists. From the last.fm discovery lists to the themed lists I find it to be extremely rewarding to build mixes of music that are interesting. I think it’s even cooler when my readers can take a peek at them and comment – something that rarely happens, but that’s okay. Most of what I do is fairly self-indulgent. Heh. What I have been doing is posting the list on Last.fm so you can click the links and listen to the songs if Last.fm happens to have ‘em. Until about a week ago I thought this was a suitable solution. Then I discovered http://8tracks.com.
The concept behind 8tracks is pretty slick. Anyone and everyone can generate a playlist and share it amongst the network – not terribly unique when put that way. But what makes this service particularly slick is that not only can you use the tunes on the network but you can also upload your own tracks so that particularly obscure music can also be included. This really improves the selection of music that’s available on this service ‘cause everyone can tap their own collections.
The whole premise behind 8tracks, and why it’s a really valid complement to Pandora for music discovery, is that people make better decisions about music than any algorithm. To some extent I agree. There’s some caveats to that though: 1) You have to find the lynchpins – the people who really think about what they’re putting into a playlist. 2) Pandora algorithms are consistent. Something people never are. I find myself consistently happy with Pandora once I’ve tweaked a channel adequately. 8tracks is much more work because I have to weed through people I don’t like. But when I am successful, I’m VERY successful.
So with all of that said, yours truly is going to be using 8tracks to publish all of my playlists going forward. The commentary won’t be on 8tracks – it’ll have to stay on djsizzly.com but that’s a small price to pay to be able to listen to the whole list, eh?
Some things that’d make it better:
1. Deduplication of tracks. Popular tracks have a tendency to be listed in the network list over and over and over. I’m not sure if that necessarily means that the track is included multiple times on physical media or if it’s just a meta tag thing. If it’s media then they could save bundles on storage by removing the duplicates. If it’s just meta then I wonder why they bother.
2. Customizable RSS feeds. Yeah, it’d be really nifty to be able to craft RSS feeds. I can live without that.
3. Input API. Right now the only API is for pulling playlists from 8tracks. I’d like to be able to use the API to post a playlist to djsizzly.com and have it feed to 8tracks. I’m really working on trying to have a single spot to post all of my music stuff and have it auto populate all the services I use for promotion.